Introduction to Modern Greek Alphabet:
Lesson 2

By Linas

Remember that μπ being pronounced as the English b instead of mp in the beginning of the word? Well, here’s the Greek word for bar which is, of course, the same - bar:


You will notice it has no accent marked because it’s too short for an accent to be needed: you know where the accent goes anyway. The important thing about this word is that it uses the letter r which is Ρ ρ in Greek (in Russian too).

Here’s the word Rap with capital R in Greek:


Try out this letter yourself by writing the Greek word for Torah which is Torá:


Answer: Τoρά
Not correct. Please try again.

Good. Now, this μπ was b in μπαρ because mp is always b in the beginning of the word. Right... What if it’s not the beginning of the word? Well, it’s mb then.

The character μπ combination is pronounced b in the beginning of the word and mb everywhere else!

Why is that? I guess it has to do with pronunciation: it would probably always be mb but mb is kind of hard to pronounce when you are starting out (mbar... what?) while it is a lot easier if you can split it into two syllables...

You might also easily spot the Greek letter for k which is pretty much just like the capital K even if it’s not: Κ κ.

You could now write the Greek word for cart which is káro:


Answer: κáρο
Not correct. Please try again.

Now take a look kalá - the Greek word for good:


You must have noticed the letter Λ λ. Well, it is called lambda in Greek and in Mathematics. It’s a well-known letter which denotes wavelength in Physics. So, if you understand what that is, it means that’s we’re on the same λ...

There is a Greek city called Lamía. Write its name:


Answer: Λαμία
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Nice. We’re getting back to the letter τ for the end of the lesson. Look at another word with this letter:


Could you guess this letter


? Well, it is the letter x in fox and it was the word taxi. Alternatively, it could be transcribed as ks. When this letter is uppercase, it looses the connecting strokes between its three vertical lines. Here’s how the word TAXI would look uppercase:


Use this letter by writing the word max which is máxi in Greek:


Answer: μἀξι
Not correct. Please try again.

Right. There is another thing. You remember how the letter combination μπ is pronounced b? Well, there’s another combination like that:

The Greek letter combination ντ is pronouncing (n)d.

You could think of it as simply τ changing to d since these letters are close in pronunciation. If it is the beginning of the word, it is hard to pronounce two letters nd so it’s only one: only the d.

Try writing the word for drill which is dríli:


Answer: ντρίλι
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Write the Greek word for babysitter which is dandá:


Answer: νταντά
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For a dessert, let us end with the word for five which is pénde:


Answer: πέντε
Not correct. Please try again.

Very good. We have now learned the letters κ, λ, ξ, ρ which means that we now know the letters α, ε, ι, κ, λ, μ, ν, ξ, ο, π, ρ, τ which amounts to exactly one half of the Greek alphabet! We also know to change μπ to (m)d and ντ to (n)d which makes it even more awesome.